18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, SC 29401Neighborhood:
Comfort FoodPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.crucafe.com/
- Phone: (843) 534-2434
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Comfort Food, Southern
- Executive Chef: John Zucker
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wine
- Catering: Voted #1 Charleston Caterer from 2001-2013. Cru Catering offer fulls service customized catering, in-house personal chefs; cater to meetings, receptions, weddings and private parties. Please contact us at 843-534-2433.
- Entertainment: Private Dinning Room available for up to 18 people.
A word from Cru Cafe
It's the Holy City's Hidden Gem! Cru Café is Charleston's home to some of the best gourmet comfort food in the Lowcountry. Cru Café is the culinary creation of renowned Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Chef John Zucker. Opened in 2002 in response to overwhelming demand, Cru Café is a culinary destination off the beaten path in in a classic 18th century Charleston single-style home. Cru Café and its award-winning Cru Catering division are consistently ranked as top eateries by locals and tourists alike. From our famous Four Cheese Macaroni to our tasty Thai Seafood Risotto, we feature something for everyone. And if you're in the mood for lighter fare, try our Chinese Chicken Salad or Duck Confit Salad. Guests of the restaurant can enjoy daily specials, indoor and outdoor porch seating, a wine list tailored to the varied menu and rich, mouthwatering desserts. We invite to stop in and enjoy a delicious meal with us today.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
- Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Cru Cafe - Best Restaurants in Downtown Charleston ›
Cru Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
344 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (257)neighborhood gem (242)great for lunch (159)great for outdoor dining (97)special occasion (69)romantic (67)hot spot (53)great for brunch (48)notable wine list (24)kid-friendly (16)good for groups (16)late-night find (11)scenic view (6)Show More
- perfectionteresahsVIPDined on 11/20/2014if you are looking for a cozy restaurant with upscale comfort food, you can't beat cru cafe. My college aged daughter and I were there on a cold November night. She was starving, so we ordered 4 small plates to share - mussels, seared tuna, fried oysters and Mac and cheese. Every bite was divine. The small plates are each enough for a meal - so there was plenty to for her to take home.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great PlaceshargilloDined on 11/18/2014We loved this restaurant. Great food and service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 11/15/2014Definitely one of the better places to eat in Charleston. The menu has some classics and does some creative and artful things with basic comfort food. The wine list is good and the service is solid. It's a small place, so reservations for dinner are a must.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing Local FoodchooseanicknameDined on 11/15/2014Cru Cafe was an amazing find for us on our first night of our first visit to Charleston. This restaurant and others we visited in Charleston definitely lived up to the accolades heaped on by reviewer after reveiwer. Wonderful appetizers, incredible entrees and a very nice wide-ranging wine list with all the food locally sourced, make Cru Cafe a must eat on any visit to Charleston. We envy the locals!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Limited AppealkohnforshoDined on 11/15/2014Cru was a disappointment. I took a party of 6 for a late lunch. We were seated at a tall table right by the entrance so the entire time we were blasted with cold air each time the door was opened. In addition the parties waiting for a table were literally inches away making for an uncomfortable lunch experience. There were some in our party who eat Paleo and the had a difficult time finding something on the menu they could eat, and didn't enjoy what they ordered.Special Features:
- Excellent food and great atmosphere!Btraveler7Dined on 11/14/2014We had a great time dining at Cru. The restaurant is located in an old house right in the heart of downtown Charleston. The atmosphere is very quaint and excellent for a romantic dinner or special occasion. The waiter was very attentive and explained the dishes thoroughly. Additionally, the owner frequently walked around to make sure that all guests were happy. Everything we ordered was fantastic!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- GemPEGGYVIPDined on 11/14/2014We were glad to return to Cru after 4 years and find that it was as good or better than our first visit. It is truly a Charleston gem.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Attentive service, great foodKokoDined on 11/14/2014We saw this cafe on a previous trip to Charleston and were intrigued by the quaint house in which it was located and the good reviews we later found. Last week I booked a reservation and I ordered the swordfish entree, which was very good, but not the best I've had. We thought the food quality was on par with the top quarter of restaurants in Charleston, but the atmosphere was noisy, crowded, and casual. We were glad we weren't there for a romantic evening. The service was excellent, even with the crowd. When our server didn't know much about the craft beer we were considering, she brought over a very helpful young man who also worked there who could tell us all about it. We appreciated that. I expect to dine at Cru Cafe again on a return trip to Charleston.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome calamariOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/14/2014Don't know where to start. Felt like we were dining at home, only WAAAAAy better. Intimate, charming, cozy . . . . Our waiter, could not have been more helpful. Minor hiccup in the kitchen with one order, we never noticed, yet they practically tripped over themselves making it right. Very cool.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lunch was right on point!ScrappyDined on 11/13/2014Found Cru by accident on my first visit to Charleston and returned for lunch on this trip. Ate like kings! The staff was on top of everything. Thanks Cru!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Place for Lunch!MsPettDined on 11/13/2014Other then the noise level, which was pretty high, it was a delightful lunch with friends. The food was very good, the service was good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent as always!dap1VIPDined on 11/12/2014Need I say more. Excellent in all respects! We never miss an opportunity to dine at Cru each time we are in the Charleston area. It is smaller than most of its peers, so we would like to keep it a secret....but that wouldn't be fair. Great service and great space! Delicious!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fine Southern CuisineCaledonadventurerDined on 11/12/2014This small restaurant exceeded my expectations. You are greeted at the door by the owner who invites you into his dining room. The staff are attentive but not intrusive. The menu had an eclectic variety of southern food with a delectable twist. My Pecan baked brie was delicious. The Smoked Duck Breast with duck confit was out of this world. Flavours that lingered and meat that was so tender it melted in my mouth. The wine paring was excellent. A memorable dining experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for LunchDHB342VIPDined on 11/12/2014Lunch menu was perfect, with many choices. Our meal was perfect, tasteful, and not too large to upset an early dinner. Servers were helpful, and made our lunch choices easy. This is a great spot after a long walking tour, freindly, clean, and meal served timely. Easy to find. Our lunch conversations included those patrons around us, which made our experience even more enjoyable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious Lunch!SG914Dined on 11/11/2014I had the coconut fried oyster wrap and my husband had the BBQ brisket sandwich and we both enjoyed our meals immensely. Service was prompt and professional. Modestly priced and very enjoyable. Highly recommended.Special Features:
- Food with FunBostonstrongDined on 11/8/2014The youthful spirit of Cru Cafe will infect you as much as the non-fussy but delicious dishs will delight your palate. The restaurant is a breath of fresh air, with the entire staff being young, spirited and vibrant. Maybe the best french fries we have EVER had! What more do you need? Great tuna dish, and an equally pleasing grouper presentation. Super desert as well. After being stuffy-ied out at dusty, fussy Circa 1886 the night before, we especially appreciated the very bearable lightness of being at Cru Cafe.Special Features:
- noisy and crowded tablesdisappointedDined on 11/8/2014Very over-rated. Our party of 6 was squeezed in by the front door next to the kitchen. Food was just okay and the noise level was high. The one positive was the wait staff - they were very attentive.
- Stellar Experience2PiggysnaPodDined on 11/8/2014We love Cru. Simply put. Every part of our dinning experience was STELLAR. The ambiance, service, and food was the perfect way to start our trip to Charleston. Will recommend to everyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Stellar service & creative kitchenLP55Dined on 11/7/2014Making you feel welcome is the first sign of a good restaurant, and even though we were much too early for our reservation, we were seated quite quickly with a happy smile and no fuss. Our entees were generous and delicious, and I am still remembering the smoked celery cream soup-great silky comfort in a bowl, drizzled with balsamic. Lovely evening- truly recommend Cru!Special Features:
- Always the besCharlestonvisitorDined on 11/7/2014Our favorite restaurant in Charleston. Simply the best experience. Wonderful food, service and setting.Special Features:
- Definitely a yes ...BenLfromCantonDined on 11/7/2014We were a party of 6, and everyone's entrees were enough food to be enough for the meal. But get an appetizer or soup or salad even if it's to share. Two guests loved the creamy Truffled Mushroom Soup while another hovered over her Tomato Basil Soup to ensure she managed every drop of it herself. One duck lover raved about the Duck Confit Arugula Salad, saying it was the best she'd had in memory. Both NY Strips were cooked to perfection; the Grilled Basil Shrimp and Thai Seafood Risoto made huge impressions; and the Gnochi special was worth veering off menu for. I enjoyed Ginger-seared Salmon with Lemon Risoto. The waitress suggested it cooked Med, but I requested Med Rare. The chef prepared it perfectly. We'll return again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Meal in Charleston!FoodfanDined on 11/6/2014Having eaten in many fine Charleston restaurants over the past 20 years, I expected a meal that was well executed. Certainly many reviews indicated that would be the case. I was not disappointed. In fact both my friend and I were very pleasantly surprised at the caliber of the service and most importantly the food. Everything we had was superbly prepared, served at just the right time/temperature and attractively presented. The wine list included a variety of choices at very reasonable prices. My companion's duck entree was the best we have eaten anywhere! I recommend this restaurant if you are looking for excellent food at an appealing price point. It is NOT a good choice if you want a quiet, romantic meal because of the small space.Special Features:
- LoudOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 11/5/2014Have only ever eaten outside on many occasions. Seated inside with my elderly parents for a birthday and the noise level was overwhelming. Not enjoyable. Couldn't carry on a conversation due to the noise. Appetizers were great (fried oysters and seared tuna), but the entrees were disappointing. Thai seafood risotto way overcooked, fried chicken under salted, too much pasta with the scallops.Special Features:
- Trendy New RestaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 11/5/2014The restaurant is situated in a pretty house which reminds me very much of New Orleans. The food & service were fantastic. A wonderful experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- betteDined on 11/5/2014Food and service were excellent. Wonderful dishes from which to choose. We had small dishes, and it was just enough.Special Features:
- An unexpected findKathythefoodie123Dined on 11/5/2014Cozy and cute. Fresh food. Overall good experience. I will go back.Special Features:
- My favorite meal in Charleston!OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 11/4/2014We were in Charleston for a "girls trip" and our dinner at Cru Cafe was the best meal we had during our four day visit. I could have easily ordered anything on the menu and been happy with my choice as everything looked good. The swordfish that I ordered was cooked perfectly and went great over the beans and veggies it was paired with. I also tasted a bit of my sisters' pork entree and pasta dish and both were yummy as well. We shared a side order of mac & cheese - huge portion and very rich. The space was cute and the staff was very friendly.Special Features:
- YummyOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/4/2014The Shrimp BLT was fabulous. So many good favors together. Great service IF you have a reservation. Long wait without one.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Please, kiss my grits...oziedebDined on 11/1/2014Calling all foodies, when in Charleston this is a must! Great selection of wines! I am still dreaming of the fried green tomatoes w/feta! Oh my! The grits were creamy cheesey and delicious!!! Our entrees were over the top! The best surprise and I'm still dreaming about is the fried Brussels sprouts- but no ordinary Brussels Sprputs try General Tso's style!!!!off the chains! If you crave advant garde cuisine in a dining room fit for 30-40 you must make your reservation at Cru!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome Little PlacejlsavannahDined on 11/1/2014I came to show my friend the best of Charleston and Cru Cafe didn't disappoint. Excellent food and caring service, without the pretense of many other 'fine dining' farm to table restaurants. Hope you guys stay that way! Thanks again for a great meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lucious lunch always at CruCT66Dined on 11/1/2014I always recommend Cru Cafe for lunch. It is without qualification my favorite lid day restaurant. On Saturday I took two guests, visitors fro m Beaufort who had never eaten there. One of these guests is a well known cookbook author. She and her daughter have declared that Cru is their new favorite restaurantSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/31/2014Restaurant was good , but small & dining area cramped. I would recommend for lunch rather than dinner.I think the location is convenient.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointingluv2dineDined on 10/31/2014We arrived 15 minutes earlier than expected for our reservation and were quickly told (in a not so nice manner) that we were early and would have to wait. What bothered us even more was the couple who came in after we arrived, got seated before us even after admitting they were a half hour late for their reservation. The food was just okay and not at all what we expected. The BBQ smoker filled the front porch with smoke and made it a bit uncomfortable at times.
- FLAGUYPOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 10/31/2014The food is amazing...always!! Maggie is the best wait person ever. A must place to go in Charleston.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The CruJoleVIPDined on 10/30/2014The food is very delicious and presentations were beautifulSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Truffle friesJesicaDined on 10/30/2014Truffle fries were the best I ever had! I wish it had more dining space, reservations are a must! We've been turned away twice without them :( worth the wait!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always a FavoriteTravelingTasteBudsDined on 10/29/2014Longevity and consistancy count! Over several years now, I have had the great pleasure of dining at Cru Cafe. It is always a treat; the food is fresh the menu and specials are expertly prepared. I have yet to dine with anyone who has not had a good meal. Keep up the good work.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best meal in charlestonOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/24/2014During my visit I went to three great places. Cru,husk and 1886. All were good in their own way, but cru was a special place. Everything I tried was fantastic. Give it a try nSpecial Features:
- Just what we were hoping forhappytravelerDined on 10/24/2014Cute little house transformed into hip and happening restaurant. The menu was inventive and fun and the dishes were delicious. The atmosphere was casual and cozy. Prices were very reasonable, especially for a touristy town like Charleston.Special Features:
- Fantastic flavors, healthy foodMrocVIPDined on 10/24/2014After a full day of walking and visiting in Charleston, we finished up with a carriage tour and then strolled through the marketplace, finishing up at Cafe Cru. We were tired and hungry and the food was fabulous. Casual setting and friendly service made it easy for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Pork chop special was super. Duck was perfectly cooked with wonderful veggies. Highly recommended.Special Features: